Humphrey School News

Humphrey School hosts former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

October 14, 2014
Madeleine Albright

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs was delighted to host Women in Public Life: An Evening with Madeleine Albright in downtown Minneapolis on October 16, 2014. Community members enjoyed dinner and engaged in conversation with former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the first woman in history to hold that position. Participants had the opportunity to her from Dr. Albright about her own experiences in public service and the role of women as leaders in public policy; the lively discussion examined issues of leadership, politics, international affairs, and the rights of women and girls worldwide.

Prior to attending Women in Public Life: An Evening with Madeleine Albright event, Madeleine Albright spent time at the Humphrey School. She attended a fundraising breakfast that morning and spent time with Humphrey students in an intimate afternoon discussion on foreign policy. “I happen to believe in government,” Albright said to the Humphrey students during the afternoon panel. “Government is the price you pay for a civilized society.” Albright then asked the students to consider the question, “How do you begin to persuade people that government isn’t their enemy?”

In addition to the student discussion and public Women in Public Life event, Dr. Albright co-taught a class at the Humphrey School with former U.S. Congressman Vin Weber. Having worked closely together on foreign policy strategies in the Middle East, Weber and Albright talked about America’s place in the world and opportunities to re-engage Americans in the world during a period when many in Washington want to pull back.

Laura Bloomberg, associate dean of the Humphrey School, stated, “It is an honor for the Humphrey School to host a policy figure of Madeleine Albright’s stature. We are fortunate to be able to discuss the importance of women in public decision making roles with her, as there is so much to be learned about politics, leadership, and policy from Dr. Albright. She exemplifies the qualities we hope to instill in leaders here at the Humphrey School.” 

Madeleine K. Albright is Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, and Chair of Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets. Dr. Albright was the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. In 1997, she was named the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. From 1993 to 1997, Dr. Albright served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and was a member of the President’s Cabinet. She is a Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Dr. Albright chairs the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. She is also the president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation and a member of an advisory body, the U.S. Defense Department’s Defense Policy Board. In 2012, she was chosen by President Obama to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in recognition of her contributions to international peace and democracy.

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